Mille Lacs Band officially names government center in honor of the late Marge Anderson
Marjorie Ann "Marge" Anderson dedicated much of her life to public service of the Mille Lacs Band. She served for more than 27 years in elected office, including 12 years as chief executive. During her time in leadership Anderson oversaw a great ...
Marjorie Ann "Marge" Anderson dedicated much of her life to public service of the Mille Lacs Band.
She served for more than 27 years in elected office, including 12 years as chief executive. During her time in leadership Anderson oversaw a great deal of change for the band, ranging from important victories for sovereignty to development of critical infrastructure that advanced the self-sufficiency of the band.
On Tuesday, Nov. 20, the Mille Lacs Band honored the memory and the legacy of leadership of Anderson, who died in 2013, by officially changing the name of the government center to the Biidaabinookwe Government Center.
--- --- --- --- ---
The Biidaabinookwe Government Center will serve as a monument to Anderson's legacy of leadership
--- --- --- --- ---
"Marge was a champion of the early self-governance movement, of securing our 1837 Treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather, and a fierce defender of tribal sovereignty," said Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin in a news release. "As a traditional leader, Marge was deeply rooted in our culture and language and showed how merging our traditional ways with modern governance could result in long-term, positive change for our community. In naming our government's central building after Marge Anderson, we honor her leadership and life's work on behalf of the Mille Lacs Band."
Anderson was the first woman ever elected to serve as chief executive to the Mille Lacs Band. Her leadership roles with the band also included serving as the band's District I representative and secretary treasurer. Anderson's legacy of service extended beyond the band as well. Anderson served in leadership positions with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and the National Congress of American Indians, and she founded the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes, serving as its first president.
The dedication ceremony took place 10 a.m. Tuesday, joined by members of Anderson's family, band officials, band elders and government center employees.
"Through the naming of this building, future generations of band members will be reminded of Marge's legacy and of what we have overcome as a people; and will better understand the leadership and sacrifice it has taken to get us where we are today," said Mille Lacs Band Secretary Treasurer Sheldon Boyd in the release.
A plaque honoring Anderson was unveiled and will be installed on the building to signify the name change.